The Documentary PodcastAuthor: BBC World Service
23 Jul 2021

The Documentary Podcast

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Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

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    Dangerous liaisons in Sinaloa

    The Mexican state of Sinaloa is synonymous with drug trafficking. With the profits from organised crime a driver of the local economy, the tentacles of ‘narco cultura’ extend deep into people’s lives – especially those of women. In the city of Culiacan, plastic surgeons service demand for the exaggerated feminine silhouette favoured by the men with guns and hard cash. Often women’s surgery will be paid for by a ‘sponsor’ or ‘godfather.’ Meanwhile, a group of women trackers spend their weekends digging in isolated parts of the state, looking for the remains of loved ones who disappear in Sinaloa’s endless cycle of drug-fuelled violence. Producer / presenter: Linda Pressly Producer in Mexico: Ulises Escamilla Editor: Bridget Harney (Photo: Lawyer Maria Teresa Guerra advocates for women in Sinaloa. Credit: BBC/Ulises Escamilla)

  • Posted on 22 Jul 2021

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    Lex Gillette: A leap in the dark

    Lex Gillette was seven years old when his eyes stopped working. At first, things were a little blurry, a little distorted. Then, after 10 operations to treat the retinas that kept detaching in both his right and his left, he saw nothing but darkness. But that did not stop him: Lex learned to ride a bike. He learned to run around. And eventually, he learned to to jump - jump farther than any other blind person in the world. Lex Gillette - world record long jumper, four time Paralympic medal winner - is on his way to Tokyo in 2021 to get the gold medal he has wanted since he was a child. The other half of the Lex Gillette Paralympic success story is his guide coach, Wesley Williams.

  • Posted on 20 Jul 2021

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    Two smiley faces: Episode three

    We travel to California to find out who controls the emoji available on every single smartphone in the world - the mysterious Unicode Consortium. This secretive organisation decides what is included and what is left off the official emoji keyboard. But are they up to the job? Not everyone is convinced. Presenter: Sarah Treanor and Vivienne Nunis Producer: Sarah Treanor

  • Posted on 18 Jul 2021

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    China in slogans

    As the Chinese Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary, Celia Hatton looks at how party slogans reveal the turbulent history of modern China. Throughout its existence, the party has used key slogans to communicate policy and mobilise the country's vast population. These messages reflect not just the ambitions of party leaders but also have a profound impact on the lives of millions. Using the BBC archive Celia examines the story behind eight key Communist Party slogans, from their early years as a guerrilla movement to the campaigns of China's current all-powerful leader Xi XInping.

  • Posted on 17 Jul 2021

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    Breaking through

    Breaking, also known as break-dancing, borne in New York City in the 1970s, is set to make its debut at the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. Four-time breaking world champion, BoxWon (Benyaamin Barnes McGee), traces how breaking went from Bronx block parties to NYC’s downtown art scene, to the world. Speaking to legends of the scene, such as Rock Steady Crew's Ken Swift and B-Boy Glyde from Dynamic Rockers, BoxWon reveals how punk impresario, Malcolm McLaren, helped breaking become a worldwide craze in the 1980s - before it vanished. When the International Olympic Committee proposed breaking as a new sport for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024, the general public were taken by surprise.

  • Posted on 17 Jul 2021

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